Working the Refs

We’ve talked a lot about Steve Schmidt, the bullet-head Karl Rove assistant, who is running the McCain campaign. Last night Schmidt lost it with Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post’s Media reporter.

Sen. John McCain’s top campaign strategist accused the news media Tuesday of being “on a mission to destroy” Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by displaying “a level of viciousness and scurrilousness” in pursuing questions about her personal life.

It’s pretty clear to me that the Rove Swat Team is in panic mode and that usually results in the classic whining about the press–“working the refs”. 20 years ago as Pat Buchanan was railing about a culture war at the Republican Convention in New Orleans, the delegates turned towards the media skyboxes screaming “Tell the truth, tell the truth”.

There is no doubt that the pitchfork brigade on the floor of the convention will eat all this media bashing up. But in the long run, it doesn’t pass the “who cares test.”

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0 Responses to Working the Refs

  1. Rachel says:

    I fear this strategy of the Rove apparatchiks is going to work. The press, if denied access, or offered a reduced level of success, lacks the spine to simply drop their level of coverage of RNC work. Instead they will soften up their coverage so they can continue to bring “both sides” of the narrative.

    They have to have a narrative – without it they’ll be subject to charges of bias anyway. So they’ll take the path of least resistance. Gotta fill those column inches.

    It will be interesting to see which “reputable” news sources (i.e. not Fox) drop their standards and soften up first.

  2. AS says:

    I think it’s more than just working the refs. This is the media equivalent of the perpetual war– there is no way to silence the press completely…(well–that is unless you resort to the St. Paul police tactics.)

    This is about creating an opponent that John McCain and Steve Schmidt think they can defeat–instead of running against the real opponent they think they can’t.

  3. Diana Lee says:

    The news with the political campaigns and the parties seem to be more intense than any other campaign. Yes, there are a lot of speculations about the falsity of the reported stories, but who has the right to stop them? There is the struggle of the right of speech for the media to publish what they want and believe. However, citizens must also be warned that not all stories may be true, and do their own research on which media outlets are reliable.

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